VENTURE: Jazz and Grub
Chelsey Barmore, staff writer | English major
Looking for entertainment or in need of a scrumptious dinner with friends? Make your way to Jax Bar & Grill in Glendale.
Located on the bottom floor of a 1920s building, Jax Bar & Grill is a local home for Jazz. The dim lighting amongst the stamped copper ceiling, the brick walls displaying antique instruments, and the intimate stage located in the corner of the narrow dining room create an atmosphere like no other.
Since 1985, Jeff Williams, who first opened the restaurant, has decided to host Jazz musicians seven days a week. He recently introduced Monday Open Mic Nights with no cover charge for his customers. Fred Dave, the host of Open Mic Nights and a former member of American music group The Impressions, tries to gather as many singers as he can to take part in the entertainment.
“When this first started Monday nights in July of 2011, it was really slow,” said Dave. But now, Dave explained that the number of attendees has increased. Attendees of all ages come out for the action, from college students to older men and women whose past was heavily influenced by Jazz music.
Drummer Jack LeCompte and pianist Karen Hernandez, who wrote one of the beginning numbers for the 1990 romantic comedy film, Pretty Woman, assist Dave on Monday nights. They accompany aspiring singers with Jazz, gospel and even R&B songs.
If you don’t consider yourself a singer, but you love to recite poetry, this restaurant gives you the opportunity to do so too. Danielle Harris, a freshman global studies major and a member of APU’s Performance Writer’s club, hopes to share poetry on her next visit. “I definitely want to come back and share one of my pieces,” said Harris. “I love the relaxed vibe that’s here.”
So, if you find yourself feeling creative and want to share your gift of song and poetry or just want to indulge in great food and entertainment with friends, Jax Bar & Grill is the place to be.
Side note: The food can be a little pricey, but each plate comes in large quantities. If you’re hungry, but aren’t planning on spending more then $10, I prefer the Little Snack and Small Plates portion from the dinner menu. Or if you have a sweet tooth, their desserts are simply delicious and affordable too.